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Canada: A People's History

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Rebellion and Reform. Episode 7

By 1830, the struggle for democratic government in the colonies of British North America has reached a fever pitch. As the colonies grow in wealth and population, a generation of charismatic reformers - Joseph Howe in Nova Scotia, Louis-Joseph Papineau in Lower Canada and William Lyon Mackenzie i...

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The Pathfinders. Episode 6

The Canadian West is opened by the great fur-trading empires (Hudson's Bay and Northwest Companies), the Indigenous people who were their indispensable allies, and bold explorers and mapmakers: Pierre Esprit Radisson takes New France's trade far into the continent's interior creating an English t...

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A Question of Loyalties. Episode 5

At the beginning of the American Revolution (1775), American rebels invade Canada but les Canadiens refuse to take up arms against British rule, and the invasion ultimately fails. The mass migration of 40,000 Loyalists that follows creates an English-speaking Canada virtually overnight. When the ...

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When the World Began. Episode 1

This episode looks back more than 15,000 years at the history of the first occupants of the territory that would become Canada. From the rich resources of native oral history and archaeology come the stories of the first people - how dozens of distinct societies took shape, and how they encounter...

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Comfort and Fear. Episode 15

The end of World War II signals the end of fifteen years of social, political and economic upheaval. The post-war baby boom and government economic and social policies give rise to unprecedented prosperity and growth for Canadian communities. Television becomes a powerful new tool with social and...

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In an Uncertain World. Episode 17

The world order and economic boom that had taken shape after World War II starts to unravel, and a new era of uncertainty begins. Free trade, globalization and regionalism converge with the rise of feminism, Aboriginal claims, growing multiculturalism and the explosion of computer technology. Can...

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Years of Hope and Anger. Episode 16

The 60s and 70s are eras of ferment on every level: politics, culture and personal life. Quebec's Quiet Revolution and youth movements across North America challenge the status quo. Some events bring the country together: a new flag is introduced and Canada shines in the world's spotlight with Ex...

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The Crucible. Episode 14

Canada comes of age in the anguish of World War II, with soldiers on the beaches at Dieppe and women in the industrial work force back home. The country's military role and the domestic social and political consequences of the war are traced through poignant stories of Canadians on both sides of ...

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Hard Times. Episode 13

Canada's economy collapses during the 1930s, creating a prolonged political and social crisis. In the context of the Dust Bowl, the relief camps and the Regina Riot, political leaders such as William Aberhart, Maurice Duplessis and Mitchell Hepburn capture national attention. Meanwhile, an increa...

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Ordeal By Fire. Episode 12

Canada's heavy military role in World War I (60,000 dead in a population of 8 million) transforms its society, its politics and its place in the world. The horror, bravery and sacrifice of trench warfare are evoked in Canada's great battles: Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Courcelette and Passchend...

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The Great Transformation. Episode 11

Massive waves of immigration, a headlong economic boom with the growth of prairie agriculture and urban industry transform Canada between 1896 and 1915. Those who shape the new society include peasants from Eastern Europe, in search of free land; socialists who try to mobilize an emerging urban w...

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Taking the West. Episode 10

The 1870s and 1880s are a time of trial for the young Dominion of Canada. The country's first Prime Minister, John A. Macdonald, faces economic depression in the fast-growing factories of the east and a new revolt in the west, led by his old nemesis, Louis Riel. The suppression of the Northwest R...

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From Sea to Sea. Episode 9

Confederation is barely accomplished when the new dominion must face an enormous challenge: extending its reach into the vast prairies and beyond, to the Pacific Ocean. Canada blunders catastrophically in seeking to take over the west without the consent of its inhabitants, especially the Métis o...

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The Great Enterprise. Episode 8

In a few short years, a handful of small and separate British colonies are transformed into a new nation that controls half the North American continent. The story of Confederation, its supporters and its bitter foes, is told against a backdrop of U.S. Civil War and Britain's growing determinatio...

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Battle for a Continent. Episode 4

A period of a little more than two decades in the mid-18th century changes the destiny of North America. England and France battle each other in the Seven Years' War, a conflict that begins as a clash between les Canadiens and land-hungry American settlers in the Ohio Valley and becomes a war tha...

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